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Staying at the Eastern & Oriental Hotel in Penang, Malaysia

Staying at the Eastern & Oriental Hotel in Penang, Malaysia

During a trip earlier this year to Penang, Malaysia, Rachel and I stayed at the colonial-style Eastern & Oriental Hotel (the E&O)The hotel was established in 1885 by the Sarkies Brothers, the same brothers who went on to establish Raffles Hotel in Singapore 1887. The E&O is still in business today and is known for its luxurious accommodation and restaurants.

View of the E&O from outside

View of the E&O from outside

Checking into the hotel

Checking into the hotel

Like the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, the E&O is the embodiment of a special time and a special place in history, standing testament to the grand elegance of the British colonial era during its prime. The hotel’s history is intrinsically intertwined with the history and development of Penang, with many important historical figures having stayed at the hotel. Notable guests include Rudyard Kipling, Sir Noel Coward, Somerset Maugham, Sun Yat-sen, Charlie Chaplin, Michael Jackson and Lee Kuan Yew, just to name a few.

There's a room named after Sir Noel Coward in his honour

There’s a room named after Sir Noel Coward in his honour

Famous folks who stayed at the hotel

Famous folks who stayed at the hotel

More famous guests

More famous guests

In its long and colourful history, the E&O Hotel has seen two World Wars, the wane of the British Empire as well as the birth of Malaysia. Staying at the hotel during a trip to Penang is as much of an experience as the trip itself, much like a walk down memory lane, living through the glory days of the British empire.

Lobby area at the Victory Annexe

Lobby area at the Victory Annexe

Small pier in front of the hotel

Small pier behind the hotel

Take a beach stroll, just behind the hotel

Take a beach stroll, just behind the hotel

The hotel has two wings, the Heritage Wing, built in 1885 and the new Victory Annexe, launched in March 2013. Named after the original Victory Annexe – a magnificent 40-room addition unveiled by Arshak Sarkies in 1923 – the new Victory Annexe features 118 Studio Suites and 4 Corner Suites.

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The Victory Annexe

Rachel and I stayed in one of the Studio Suites:

[image_sliders]

[image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3805/13946128504_f6eb5f74a2_o.jpg”] Feeling sleepy? 🙂 [/image_slider] [image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7204/13922576876_dcb2c2a0ca_o.jpg”] Rachel in the reading chair [/image_slider]

[image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5092/13945682005_0930ee89cc_o.jpg”] Lovely balcony with a fantastic view [/image_slider] [image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7092/13922572662_c63665d960_o.jpg”] Coffee machine in the room [/image_slider] [image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2905/13922574412_459200ea7c_o.jpg”] Two wash basins outside the bathroom – no need to queue in the morning! [/image_slider] [image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3789/13922574862_f6b097d786_o.jpg”] Bathroom with both a shower room and a bathtub [/image_slider] [image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3681/13922578856_6db2f888ba_o.jpg”] View of the room from outside the balcony [/image_slider]

[image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3681/13922576792_118fbbfa1f_o.jpg”] Andaman sea view with land view of Penang from the balcony [/image_slider] [image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3694/13922577372_e92cb9a272_o.jpg”] Work desk [/image_slider] [image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3818/13945736613_01e9423f7c_o.jpg”] One of two wash basins in the room [/image_slider]

[image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3747/13922578372_d4b5f040b6_o.jpg”] Art on the wall [/image_slider] [image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3798/13946117454_6eb890c8a7_o.jpg”] Cosy E&O bathrobe [/image_slider] [image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3728/13922561772_c5ccac73b7_o.jpg”] Cute little wooden clock in the room [/image_slider] [/image_sliders]

We visited one of the Corner Suite and this is how the room is like:

[image_sliders] [image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2914/13945688035_7348eef7fb_o.jpg”] There is a living room within the room [/image_slider] [image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7328/13945738743_37dcb7e96f_o.jpg”] Dining table [/image_slider] [image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3756/13922583356_33a700c5fb_o.jpg”] Shower room [/image_slider] [image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3827/13945689565_7808f6982d_o.jpg”] Bathtub [/image_slider] [image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7259/13946136504_a4d971fa09_o.jpg”] Work desk [/image_slider] [image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2925/13922584216_3a87f82f14_o.jpg”] Bed area [/image_slider] [image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3790/13922582282_da9d07e698_o.jpg”] 2 x wash basins [/image_slider] [image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7448/13946138224_f64bfbe2c2_o.jpg”] View upon entrance [/image_slider] [image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3687/13922582792_fc24e77e8f_o.jpg”] Bathroom view from entrance [/image_slider] [/image_sliders]

The new Victory Annexe’s modern-classic design retains the essence of E&O’s rich heritage yet offers the modern traveller’s conveniences including high-speed wifi broadband connection, a fully-equipped gym and an infinity pool with an extensive view of the Andaman sea:

Gym

Gym

Poolside

Poolside

Shopping alley

Shopping alley

Inside the gift shop

Inside the gift shop

The Heritage Wing

We did a tour of the Heritage Wing and checked out some of the rooms:

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[image_sliders]

[image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7213/13922595666_a075921ed6_o.jpg”] Bedroom [/image_slider]

[image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3786/13945701875_853002d5eb_o.jpg”] Bedroom from another view [/image_slider]

[image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5589/13922584701_9b7f3dfba5_o.jpg”] Wash basin [/image_slider]

[image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3830/13946150684_ef6b49eb03_o.jpg”] Really spacious! [/image_slider]

 [image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7045/13922592672_0da82e80e4_o.jpg”] Entrance to the bathroom [/image_slider]

[image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3793/13945750603_61eb179f9c_o.jpg”] Single bed [/image_slider]

[image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3829/13945699605_8c3c2aa716_o.jpg”] Bathroom [/image_slider]

[image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7150/13946146474_38ff6eb856_o.jpg”] Sofa rest area [/image_slider]

[image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3732/13945697455_0915597b5c_o.jpg”] Attached dining area [/image_slider]

[image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3687/13922602376_af04ef0fd3_o.jpg”] At the Heritage Wing, you get batik instead of bathrobe – nice! [/image_slider]

[image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7176/13922580361_cf100e67a4_o.jpg”] Work desk which Rachel fell in love with immediately [/image_slider]

[image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2917/13945748133_e9f53a232b_o.jpg”] Rachel checking out the desk [/image_slider]

[image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7109/13922603686_29c7c2f3b7_o.jpg”] Work area [/image_slider]

[image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2911/13922602522_a17a657c39_o.jpg”] Television hidden inside [/image_slider]

[image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2931/13945710275_80ca0d716b_o.jpg”] Vintage switches which are still working, same as the ones at Raffles Hotel in Singapore[/image_slider]

[image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7013/13922600412_3e5c0b6446_o.jpg”] Vintage faucet [/image_slider]

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The Heritage Wing is the historical heart of the Eastern & Oriental Hotel. Built in 1885, its Moorish minarets and soaring echo-dome lobby provide the backdrop for khaki-clad doormen and pith-helmeted bellhops to welcome guests to its 100 elegant suites:

Elegant chandelier

Elegant chandelier

Vintage staircases and furnitures

Vintage staircases and furnitures

Lobby area in the Heritage Wing

Lobby area in the Heritage Wing

Rooms corridor

Rooms corridor

Check out the vintage elevator at the end

Check out the vintage elevator at the end

F&B Establishments 

Breakfast at the hotel is served at Sarkies for guests in the Victory Annexe, offering a wide selection of local and international fare served buffet style:

[image_sliders] [image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7213/13922524466_c0ff786a15_o.jpg”] Rachel with our friend in Penang, Valyn [/image_slider] [image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7385/13946124284_910317b351_o.jpg”] Breakfast [/image_slider]

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[image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7453/13922572092_193840f356_o.jpg”] Roti Canai station [/image_slider] [image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7007/13946126604_38316a53b2_o.jpg”] Soup noodles for breakfast? [/image_slider] [image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3806/13922559131_9830a1ac17_o.jpg”] Choices for noodle and condiments[/image_slider]

[image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3726/13945718783_1c093b97a9_o.jpg”] Asian lunch fare [/image_slider]

[image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3802/13945719453_96056c1642_o.jpg”] The restaurant is always packed, from morning till night, testament to the good food they serve [/image_slider] [image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3725/13922561112_be7cab2e24_o.jpg”] Beautiful cakes and pastries [/image_slider] [image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2926/13922559442_5d1f7d86c9_o.jpg”] Seafood [/image_slider]

[image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3816/13922515151_83706c4a65_o.jpg”] Soup noodle section [/image_slider] [image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2903/13922525862_5c7ab6bf3f_o.jpg”] Roast meat section [/image_slider] [image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2908/13922526976_8935afb3a3_o.jpg”] Grill section [/image_slider]

[image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3736/13922524912_1a018c9620_o.jpg”] Penang Fried Kway Tiao [/image_slider] [image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7275/13945630825_035b8b20d9_o.jpg”] I love the roast duck [/image_slider] [image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7325/13945681193_bb9081304e_o.jpg”] Fish [/image_slider] [/image_sliders]

If you prefer something more rustic, there is also the colonial coffee shop, Sarkies Corner which offers a selection of local & international fare:

[image_sliders] [image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3736/13922573461_f6293e9afc_o.jpg”] Vintage feel [/image_slider] [image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3786/13922572861_d943e69ab8_o.jpg”] Inside the coffee shop [/image_slider] [image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5202/13945755533_934c2b39e6_o.jpg”] Coffee shop entrance [/image_slider] [/image_sliders]

For those who like the experience of poolside dining, there is the Poolside Terrace and Planters Lounge. During our stay, Rachel and I love to visit these two places when we are in the mood to write or do some quiet reading:

[image_sliders] [image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7095/13945724583_7def260153_o.jpg”] Rest and relax by the pool [/image_slider] [image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5141/13922555331_33181e7b83_o.jpg”] Infinity pool [/image_slider] [image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2923/13922556201_1686e685db_o.jpg”] Dining with a sea view [/image_slider] [image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7460/13922570106_8a20c5a50f_o.jpg”] Planters Lounge [/image_slider] [image_slider link=”http://on.fb.me/Qt8e3c” source=”https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3708/13922569686_f67b3a3e96_o.jpg”] Drinks and snacks at the Planters Lounge [/image_slider] [/image_sliders]

For drinks to chill out, there is Farquhar’s Bar:

The Location

The E&O by night

The E&O by night

Situated in George Town, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008, the E&O Hotel stands at the intersection of Farquhar Street and Penang Road. The hotel is 20 kilometres from the Penang International Airport (less than 30 minutes cab ride) and within walking distance from the food havens, shopping complexes and entertainment outlets of downtown George Town.

If you are interested to stay at the E&O, visit their official website for more information, including promotional updates. 🙂 

About The Author

alvinology

Alvin is a marketer by day and blogger by night. He is a 100% geek who spends too much time surfing the web.

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